moderated thoughts on leading a meeting via web-conferenc


Van Lant, Robin
 

Hi,

I’d like to chew on a topic with you all on effectively leading virtual meetings.  Specifically, I’m trying to gauge if I’m being too hard on myself or if others have figured out good techniques to deal with the challenges I’m facing.  Here at my company we currently use Webex, although I’ve heard we may switch to Zoom soon.  I’m fine with joining meetings and can participate in meetings well enough.  Accessibility of Webex with JAWS is really lacking, but some of my questions may still exist if it worked better with JAWS or I was using Zoom.  here are my two main questions:

 

#1 Chat windows:

Larger meetings I’m on have really been using the chat function. JAWS will often catch chats while they come in, but this can also cover up what the presenter is saying.  I just figure  I will miss this aspect, which is only problematic if I want to ask a question and the presenter only allows chat questions.  If I’m leading the meeting, I specifically ask people to unmute to ask a question or I have a colleague read any questions that come in through chat.  It seems that juggling this, even if you can technically navigate to and read the chat windows with JAWs would still be really cumbersome.  Do any of  you have tips for managing chats during a meeting? 

 

#2 Sharing a presentation:

In a professional context, I often need to share a PowerPoint slide show.  For big meetings, I’ll usually have a colleague share the slides and advance them for me, allowing me to read my speaking points from a Word document. Is this what others do?  Are any of you successful in presenting slides and having JAWS read them at the same time so that you can be following along with what is on the slide you are currently presenting? IS this where a Braille display would work better than speech alone?  I’m not a proficient Braille reader, especially when nervous, so I don’t’ thin k Braille display is the answer for me, but curious to know if that does work for people.

 

I’m also curious to understand what sighted people see when video is on.  I was on a presentation  earlier today and could tell that a slide was on the screen, but wasn’t sure of the visual display of attendees and the speaker’s video, but I guess I’ll ask a friend or AIRA agent for that. I’m sure it varies based on settings. I just hope the camera angle was OK when it was my turn to talk. 

 

Using JAWS 2021, Office 365 and Windows 10.

 



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